United States swimmers are putting on a strong performance at the Pan Pacific Championships. World champion Ryan Lochte delivered his best effort to win the men's 400 metres individual medley at Irvine, California.
Michael Phelps failed to qualify for the final earlier on Thursday. So Lochte took charge, swimming under the world record pace for the first two legs, before surging home in four minutes, 7.59 seconds.
Compatriot Tyler Clary touched second with Brazil's Thiago Pereira third. Lochte clinched the world title last year in Rome, where Phelps made news by skipping the event.
USA swimmers won seven of 10 finals on the night. The Pan Pacific meet showcases some of the top competitors from Asia and North and South America, but only two swimmers from each country were allowed to compete in the eight-man finals.
American Nathan Adrian won a close battle for the men's 100 freestyle. He powered to the finish in a Pan Pacific record time of 48.15 seconds.
American Natalie Coughlin triumphed in the meet's women's 100 freestyle for a third straight year. And the USA capped a highly successful night by winning the men's and women's 4x200 freestyle relays, setting Pan Pacific meet records in both events.